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Record-setting 1,384 Oregon State students earn their degrees online

A scenic photo of Weatherford Hall on Oregon State University's Corvallis campus, resting above a grass hill with clouds obscuring an otherwise blue sky

2021 Ecampus graduates represent the OSU community all over the globe

By Tyler Hansen
June 8, 2021

Last Sunday, Ashley Hatleberg turned in her final assignment as an Oregon State University student. It was a term paper on the politics of climate change.

With a simple keystroke on her computer, she officially completed the requirements to earn a natural resources bachelor’s degree online through Oregon State Ecampus.

All those years of hard work, punctuated in a flash.

Virtual graduation celebration June 12

Oregon State Ecampus students are invited to join the university’s virtual commencement event Saturday, June 12 at 10:30 a.m. PT. Immediately afterward, Ecampus will present a virtual experience at beginning at 11:30 a.m. Learn more »

“I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for a long time,” Hatleberg said, emotion filling her voice. “I accomplished something that all the people I care about wanted to see me accomplish. That’s what drove me to finish.”

Now Hatleberg belongs to the record-setting Oregon State Ecampus Class of 2021, featuring 1,384 distance students who will graduate Saturday as part of OSU’s 152nd commencement.

Among them are working professionals in Germany, military veterans in Kentucky and first-generation college graduates in Oregon. The common thread between them all is their ability to thrive as online learners and enhance their career options while managing life’s competing responsibilities.

“Ecampus students experienced significant hardships, including the unique challenges of being adult learners, but they excelled nonetheless,” said Lisa L. Templeton, the Ecampus associate provost. “They are a continual source of inspiration to everyone in the Oregon State community, and we are proud to offer them the support they need from their first online class all the way to graduation.”

The members of the Ecampus Class of 2021 hail from 47 states and 15 countries including Canada, England, India, South Africa, South Korea and Switzerland. The 1,384 graduates account for 18.7% of all Oregon State graduates this year.

Hatleberg adds a local flair to a very international graduating class. She is a fish hatchery technician for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in the McKenzie River Valley. She works full time, caring for and monitoring chinook salmon populations in waters near where she grew up.

Through the online coursework in Oregon State’s natural resources degree program, she gained a deep understanding of the interrelated nature of the environment. That, in turn, created a desire to use that knowledge on a broader scale as she embarks on the next phase in her career.

“I want to make the world a better place, as corny as it sounds,” Hatleberg said. “But I figure I can start with my river basin, and hopefully my work opens up from there.”

Here’s a more detailed look at this year’s collection of Ecampus graduates.

Oregon State Ecampus Class of 2021 by the numbers

Online programs with the most graduates

448 — Computer science (postbaccalaureate)
90 — Psychology (B.A./B.S.)
83 — Business administration (B.A./B.S.)
79 — Natural resources (B.S.)
63 — Human development and family sciences (B.S.)

States with the most graduates

410 — Oregon
254 — California
166 — Washington
62 — Texas
28 — Colorado

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